Monday, August 31, 2020

Monday Morning Inspiration

 Whenever I travel, I love finding unique stores, be it boutiques, or fabric stores. My curiosity has given me the chance to meet some of the most interesting people. A number of years ago, I met a very unique woman who had the most fabulous boutique in Galveston, Texas. She had such a great eye for designers who were cutting edge. Many of the designers that she carried in her store were from Austin, Texas, of all places! Something that no one would think to go to Galveston to purchase would be tights. After all, it can be ungodly hot there. But, this owner who became a friend told me how she loved tights and that they had given her the opportunity to once again wear a mini skirt. I bought a number of pairs of tights from her, as I love them too!!!

I literally have a drawer full of tights. Yes, a bit of an addiction I guess. But, I so love fabulous and unique tights. They can elevate a simple garment, give interest to a solid color garment, and change the feel from funky to sexy with just the change of the tights. And then, there's just the utilitarian aspect of keeping my legs warm in winter. Regardless of the weather, I still love wearing skirts. 

Now, with all of that said, finding tights can be a bit difficult. I was walking down Michigan Ave. here in Chicago. Walked past Neiman's, and saw a fabulous pair of tights on a mannequin. I went in, asked where the hosiery department was. For the life of me, I think it must exist in an alternate universe as I could not find it. I then went to Bloomingdale's. They had tights, but just simple, run of the mill tights. I asked a friend who works for Neiman's about the tights that were featured in the window. She told me that one would think that if they are displaying it in the window that it would be sold in the store. But no!!! Crazy!

Thankfully, there are online shops that carry fabulous, fun tights.

I love the idea of adding a pop of color with a basic outfit. Mustard is BIG this fall. 

Flowers are always fun. The pair above and the pair below were originally sold at Mod Cloth. Sadly, neither pair is currently available, but you can find some interesting tights HERE


This pair screams fall to me. I think they would be great with a corduroy skirt. This pair was sold on the Anthropology website. Nothing there at the moment, but maybe when fall is in full swing, they'll have something.

Tights that tell a fairy tale. These are actually leggings, but still fun. How cute would these be with a solid black skirt or dress?!! You can find them on Etsy HERE


In the same vein as the leggings above, I love the trailing flowers, birds, and butterflies.


Velvet tights. I actually made a pair last winter and I lived in them!

Lace tights won't keep your legs warm, but here's a situation where a pair of tights can take an outfit from ho hum, to drop dead sexy!  

I added this pair of antique Edwardian tights just for the ooo and ahh factor. They were actually silk, and hand embroidered!!! Absolutely lovely!   

So, a question for you.
Do you know of a great, footed tight pattern? I have 2, but sadly, neither are available. I have looked, but didn't find any patterns. A thought just occurred to me, maybe Jalie. I'll check that out. But, in the meantime, if you know of a great footed tight pattern, please let me know. 

Sadly, my Galveston friend has died. She had breast cancer. Fought a very courageous fight, and she finally succumbed to the disease. But, every time I pull on a pair of tights, I think of her, and I think that makes her smile :)

If you've given up on wearing skirts, and or dresses, go get a pair of tights. Give 'em a try ;)

Have a wonderful week!


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Sunday, August 30, 2020

Sunday Night Reflections


Dream Big

A wonderful article to contemplate. Read it HERE.  

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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Friday, August 21, 2020

The One Year Challenge Catch Up

A funny story ;)

Mr. Berkley has discovered cicadas. We will be walking along, and the next thing I know, the little guy has 1 in his mouth, and is happily crunching away. He LOVES them! Ick!!! Well, it must not be ick to him. While we were out for our evening walk last night, he managed to grab 2, and this morning, my husband told me that he didn't need his breakfast as he had managed to grab 3 more. Don't worry, he got fed :) As we were walking last night, I told my husband that it must be a boy thing. I've only had female dogs up to this point, and not a 1 ever ate a cicada. I swear they are like candy to Berkley. But, as sweet and wonderful as he is, I will overlook the cicada breath ;)

As I've shared, my 1 year challenge is going well, I have yet to miss a day. I will admit that it can be challenging at times. But, I guess it's not a challenge if it's not challenging!!!

I am not going to do a complete catch up today as the post would go on for far too long. Reminds me of a concert that we attended a while back. There's a guitarist that I absolutely love, Doyle Dikes. By all means, check him out! The concert was coming to a close, and he made a comment about wrapping things up. My husband hollered out, we don't have anywhere to go! With that, Doyle looked up, smiled and said, "I learned the hard way that I can play longer than you can listen!" 

Going all the way back to July 24th...this is a remake of a dress I did a few years ago. I had made the same dress in pink, and I so loved it. Wore the dress when we drove to Detroit to pick up Berkely. The poor little guy was so anxious, crawled all over me, and destroyed the dress. But hey, I can make a new dress!!! This one is actually a bit better as I added side seam pockets. It's the free pattern from Fabrics-store.com, the Chelsea Linen Raglan Tee. Obviously, I lengthened it into a dress, and gave it a shirttail hem.              


I didn't make the top I am wearing, but I did do the skirts, and yes it's plural.

Here's a little video that explains it all :)

All out cowgirl ;) I was going through a drawer looking for some fabric when I came across this pair of pants that I had drafted, and partially sewed together. Finishing them was long overdue. Got them done, and I love them!!! 

This is another piece that sat languishing on my sewing table for a few years. I had drafted it out as a Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post to be. Now that it's finished, I will get the post up. So simple to do.  

Once I got the dress together, I felt that it needed a little something, so I added the ties. I love how the ties give the piece a little extra interest, and a little shape through the bust.

My lemon pants. Love these pants. I used an old Vogue/Micheal Kors pattern for the pants.  

My tee was a piece that I did for a Free Pattern Friday post. At least, I thought I did. I can't find it! Maybe I should do a repeat. Here I called it the perfect social distancing tee ;) Hey, we may as well laugh than cry. 

We're finally up to July 29th. It looks like a dress, but it's actually 2 pieces, the Molly Tee from Pattern Union.  

The skirt is, at least I think so, this super cute, and sadly an out of print McCall's pattern. I've made 2 skirts from this pattern, and I love them.  

July 30th was a 2 outfit day. I began the day wearing this little wrap skirt. I so love the pattern. It's actually based on a leaf of lettuce. Sadly, the pattern is not available. The designer is in grad school and hopes to get her pattern line back up and running once she's finished.  

That evening I wore this outfit that was inspired by a Maria Pinto piece. I SOOOO love this outfit. It works well with flats and heels alike. We had an opportunity to attend an outdoor concert. It felt so good to actually be listening to lovely music in a concert setting once again.

I have had this dress for years. Sadly, I have yet to find the pattern.It's a fun dress that wraps to the back, and then wraps to the front. The only problem is that if you are caught in a strong wind, you might have a wardrobe malfunction when if the back blows up too high!    

The following day, I was out flying. If you've followed the blog for a while, you may remember this from my Sleeves on Saturdays series. I used the free Plantain Tee from Deer and Doe to create the top. You can find the instructions for drafting the sleeve HERE

I love to at least try and keep Sundays special, so I pull out something that just feels lovely. You may remember this piece from my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. It's the Perfect Travel Dress,  just 5 easy rectangles. You can find the instructions to make 1 of your own HERE

Here's a little video to see how the ties work.

So, with a little advice from Doyle Dikes, I will end here. But I'll be back with another post quite soon. Believe it or not, these posts take quite a bit of time to put together. But, it's worth it as I so appreciate all of you who drop by.
Until next time...
Sew On!!!


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Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Sleeves On Saturdays Revisited/The Square Shoulder Sleeve

 An interesting comment was recently left on an Instagram post, you always look so happy. What's interesting is that some days, that is so very far from how I actually feel. I replied that a smile is always a good thing. 

A few years ago, I learned a valuable lesson. A dear friend of mine was going through a very difficult time. His brother had committed suicide, and his suicide cost my friend pretty much his entire life savings. He had leveraged everything in order to try and save his brother. Truly a heartbreaking story. But, what I found interesting is that even at his lowest moments, if he was asked how he was doing, his reply was, "wonderful, just wonderful." The saying of "time heals all wounds" is sadly just not true. I know that my friend still wrestles with the why of his brother's death. He always wears a Harley Davidson t-shirt that belonged to his brother under his shirt when he attends church. He told me that it's his way of taking his brother to church with him. 

Watching him go through this incredibly difficult time, and seeing how he chose to deal with it, taught me about speaking faith over my days, and the situations that some days hold. His way of speaking faith was to simply reply, wonderful, when life was anything but. When I am asked how I am doing, my reply has become, "I'm good." It's not grammatically correct(so what!), but it's my way of speaking faith over the things that I may be dealing with that make my heart ache.


As I shared, my little 1 year challenge is going well. I have yet to miss a day of wearing a garment that I made, and posting pictures. I have recently started doing short videos as I think it enhances the garment. It's always nice to really see how a garment fits, and moves.

I originally posted the 2 tops that I am sharing today in 2014!!! Hard to believe that it's been 6 years ago. And I'm still wearing them! A little note about clothing care...I put very few things in the dryer. My laundry room usually looks like a yard sale with all of my things hanging to dry. But, the heat of the dryer can be very destructive to fibers. 

The pattern that I used for both tops is a free pattern from Deer And Doe, the Plantain T-Shirt. You can find it HERE.

The red striped top was the 3rd sleeve that I did in the squared shoulder sleeve series. With this one, I accented the seams in the sleeve with a strip of red fabric, and repeated the red fabric around the neckline, and the hemline of both the sleeves and the top. You can find my post on this top HERE 

I was out at the airport yesterday. Whenever I get the chance, I am going to pose on the stairs of a jet!!! 

The post on this sleeve can be found HERE. The difference with this sleeve and the 1 above is that the center panel on the red sleeve is rounded, and the center panel of the black is squared in the traditional manner of drafting the sleeve. With this top, to add a little extra interest, I cut the stripe on the bias and used that to bind the neckline and the hemline.   

Hope you enjoy the video :) 

By the way, you can always easily access my Sleeves On Saturdays by clicking on the tab at the top of the blog page.

I hope that regardless of what's happening in your life, you will be able to join me and say, "I'm good." You may not feel good in the moment, but you are making a declaration that good is coming. And, it is :)

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Monday, August 17, 2020

Coming Up This Week/Fun Challenges!

This past Friday, I crossed a huge hurdle. The sale of my friend's house came to a close. That part of her estate is officially finished!!! In 3 months time, I was able to clean out the house, set it up for staging, get it on the market, and sell it. Whew!!! The new owner moved in on Saturday. I feel a million pounds lighter, or whatever a house may weigh ;) My husband has been a HUGE help. I would not be this far along without his help. He got up this morning and said that he really didn't know what to do with himself now that we no longer need to go over to the house and work. My house has been completely neglected over the last 3 months, so I told him, "I have plenty of work for you to do!!!"

All in all, I am having the best summer! I have so enjoyed getting out on the river in my kayak. Floating along on the river is just the peace that I need. 

I also have my little 1 year challenge still going along strong. I am having the best time with it. I promise to catch up here on the blog this week. 

A couple of weeks ago, I shared that I am doing a sew together with Pauline of Sew You Think You Can. We are using this vintage Simplicity pattern. 

My muslin is completed, and all in all, I am very happy with the fit. Pauline and I will be virtually meeting on Wednesday to share our progress. I should have a reveal date then.

I have chosen this twill fabric for my jumpsuit. While it's not a vintage fabric, this look will be all out 1970s!!! I'm just so excited!!! Can't wait to get it made up!  

I am also participating in a challenge of sorts with Helena of Gray All Day. She had posted on Instagram that she had purchased a pile of fabric that she would like to share, and have others make up. I thought it sounded like fun. She sent me a message and asked it I like stripes or polka dots. I said, "Both! I have even combined stripes and polka dots." I had no idea of what the fabric would look like, or the fiber content. I was so pleasantly surprised when the fabric arrived. It's a lovely gauze with little yellow, puffy polka dots. It feels like air in my hands.  

The reveal day will be this Friday. So excited that I'll finally be able to share my little creation.

I hope that you are able to find some lovely ways to make your summer special despite all the craziness. I took a ride down Michigan Ave. here in Chicago last week after the madness of last Sunday night. It broke my heart to see all of the destruction. I would like to leave you with this quote from Indira Gandhi. 

You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.

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Wednesday, August 12, 2020

The Magic Rectangle Dress

The art of producing an illusion

There is no real magic in the Magic Rectangle Dress, but, it does give the illusion that it's much more than it is!!! In reality, it's just 2 long rectangles. There are no shoulder seams, just a seam down the front, and a seam down the back leaving an opening for the head. And then of course, side seams.

Much of my day was spent in old clothes. I am in the final stage of  getting my friend's house ready to turn over to the new owner. It has been quite the journey. More on that in another post :) After a day of hard work, I was rewarded with an evening out for dinner. And, as I've said, I am celebrating everything! If it's dinner out, I am dressing for the occasion!!! So, I pulled out this dress that I made 7 YEARS AGO!!! 

I so love this dress. I used a piece of vintage fabric that I had for years. I think it's from the 1940s. The fabric is so soft, and feels so good against the skin. The only issue is that it wrinkles easily, but hey, we can't have everything ;)

The "magic" of the dress lies in the gathered detail. The gathering gives shape over the bust, and that's what makes the dress look like so much more than it is.  

If you think that you would like to give this little idea a try, you can find my original post HERE. This is a piece that's great for summer, and will also work well in the winter in maybe a wool challis with a turtleneck. Hmmm, I think I will be making another ;)

If you give the dress a try, be sure to let me know! Just send me an email :)
Have a wonderful day! I hope a little magic comes your way :)


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Monday, August 10, 2020

Skulottes, Coverups, and Links

The start of a new week! I just got off the phone with a friend who called to ask if I saw what happened in downtown Chicago last night. I did. It looked like something out of a Mad Max movie. We talked about it, and then I told her to turn her television off. Not that we shouldn't be informed, but we don't need to hear the same story repeated time and time again. 

It seems that the world is a mess at the moment. In some respects, it is. But, there are also wonderful people doing incredible acts of charity. On Saturday evening, I had to go to the grocery store. As I was coming home, I encountered a type of street party. People were spaced apart, wearing masks, and on the front porch of a house, there was a band playing. What really caught my eye as I drove past was a tip jar. So many musicians are hurting. They NEED to play, they NEED to work. Seeing someone open up their front yard for a lovely summer evening concert, and offer a bit of normalcy for some who are hurting, absolutely heartwarming. Of course, this is but one small story. But, this is what I want to focus on, not crazy gang of looters, and thieves. For a time, they may be winning. But ultimately, they won't. History has taught us this time, and time again.

I have to apologize as I have been very slow about getting my 1 Year Challenge pictures up on the blog. I'm happy to report that I'm doing well. I haven't missed a day :) And the best part is that I am truly discovering what I actually have in my wardrobe. I know that may sound strange, after all, I made all of it, I know it's there. But, being so focused has brought about a clarity that absolutely delights me. 

Yesterday we finally had time to enjoy being on our boat. It was horribly hot out, so the boat was truly wonderful. What's better to wear on a boat than a bathing suit and a coverup?!!

I originally posted this coverup 9 years ago. Wow!!!          

Here is the coverup I made to go with my suit. The piece is so very easy to make. There are only 2 seams, and better yet, it's just a rectangle. You can find a link to the instructions HERE.  

I did do a video, but I am having a difficult time getting it to my computer. But, if you pop over to my Instagram account, you can see it. 

You may remember that I made this suit for a Sew News sew along. It's the Soma Swimsuit from Papercut Patterns

The big hit of the week was this piece that I did for my Fabulous Free Pattern Friday series. I called it a skulotte as it's a bit of a cross between a skirt and a culotte. You can find a link to the super simple instructions HERE. I also did a video that you can see on my Instagram page

I had this on when I went to the grocery store on Saturday afternoon, and the lady who checked me out commented 3 times on how lovely I looked. Made my day!!!

My wish for whoever drops by today is that you will be able to find joy in your day. Take a few minutes and look around at all that is good. And maybe...turn off whatever you use to obtain news. Just for today, give yourself a little break. 

Happy Sewing!!!

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Monday, August 3, 2020

What's Old is New Again

A few weeks ago, I had brunch with my mother and my brother. My brother is one that really appreciates fashion. Maybe it has something to do with growing up around me ;) He commented on how during the 20th century every decade was quite distinctive. One can tell just by looking that the style of the garment was from the 1920s, the 1940s, the 1970s, and so on. He said that since the turn of the 21st century, it seems that there is no longer a distinction between decades. I had not thought about it, but for the most part, I think he is right. 

I so enjoy a wonderful sewist, Pauline of Sew You Think You Can. She is so talented, and loves to look at designer pieces and figure out how to knock them off. Her creations are fabulous!!! Pauline recently came across a number of vintage patterns that she posted on Instagram. I was shocked when I saw the pattern below.

I bought this pattern when I was still in junior high!!! Obviously I have kept it all these years, along with many others. So, when I saw that Pauline had gotten the pattern, I sent her a note and told her that I have it too!!! 

Pauline and I have decided to pair up and make the pattern. She is doing the romper. I'm not exactly sure what I will do, but my heart is telling me to make the jumpsuit.

I came across this picture just this morning. It's almost the exact same style! I love all the piped seams. What's interesting is that Pauline had already said that she was going to make hers out of a gingham fabric. Do we have telepathy or what?!!

We are planning to meet again next Sunday via a zoom call and show each other our muslins. It's interesting the things you remember. I told Pauline that I remember the pattern being a little short in the crotch. When she pulled the pattern out of the envelope, she immediately saw that it IS short in the crotch. I will need to do a little grading up as I am not a size 10. But, all in all, it should be a fun project. We will start sharing once we have our muslins together.

Isn't the sewing community just the best?!!

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Sunday, August 2, 2020